All aircraft that are owned by residents of the Commonwealth, or owned by nonresidents, if they are based in Virginia more than 90 days in a 12-month period, are required to be registered. The registration requirement includes aircraft which are based at both public use and private use airports, heliports and landing areas.
In essence, an aircraft registration is identical to an automobile registration. It is the aircraft owner's evidence of ownership and that the owner meets the minimum liability insurance requirements of Title 5.1-88.2 of the Code of Virginia.
In addition, before any aircraft can be registered by the Department of Aviation, the owner must have satisfied the 2% Aircraft Sales and Use Tax imposed by the Virginia Department of Taxation.
Revenue from Registration fees and Aircraft Sales and Use Tax is deposited in the Aviation Special Fund and can only be used to benefit the aviation system in the Commonwealth.
It is a Class 1 misdemeanor to operate an aircraft that is not registered in Virginia.